To use face masks or not after Covid-19 vaccination? An impact analysis using mathematical modeling
Munyakazi, Justin B.
Mukhtar, Abdulaziz Y. A.
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The question of whether to drop or to continue wearing face masks especially after being vaccinated among the public is controversial. This is sourced from the efficacy levels of COVID-19 vaccines developed, approved, and in use. We develop a deterministic mathematical model that factors in a combination of the COVID-19 vaccination program and the wearing of face masks as intervention strategies to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. We use the model specifically to assess the potential impact of wearing face masks, especially by the vaccinated individuals in combating further contraction of COVID-19 infections. Validation of the model is achieved by performing its goodness of fit to the Republic of South Africa’s reported COVID-19 positive cases data using the Maximum Likelihood Estimation algorithm implemented in the fitR package. We first consider a scenario where the uptake of the vaccines and wearing of the face masks, especially by the vaccinated individuals is extremely low.